His threats were directed specifically at the protesters who have defaced and toppled statues and monuments in cities around America.
“Every night we’re going to get tougher and tougher. At some point there is going to be retribution because there has to be,” said Trump in the interview. “These people are vandals. But they’re agitators, but they’re really, they’re terrorists in a sense.”
Trump has leaned heavily into “law and order” rhetoric, opposing several meaningful reforms of policing like changes to qualified immunity, and threatening to send the military to disperse protests.